Friday, September 1, 2017

Welcome letter to WRSD staff

Every year, I send a welcome back newsletter to the over 1,100 employees who work in our schools.  The following is the letter that I sent earlier this week welcoming staff back and sharing some of the items we are working toward this year:

August 28, 2017 As I enter my 27th year in education, I remain as excited and hopeful about the coming year as I did when I was preparing my classroom for the first time back in 1991. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome back returning staff and new hires, including over 58 new staff members. We are fortunate to have a strong group of educators joining our Wachusett family, including the new building principal at Central Tree Middle School, David Cornacchioli, who joins us from Oxford, Massachusett. For the past two months, David has been working in the District to become acquainted with his new learning community. I would also like to welcome two former assistant principals to their new interim positions. Shannon Bischoff has been named the Interim Principal at Dawson Elementary School in Holden, while Tammy Boyle has taken on the Interim Principal position at Thomas Prince School in Princeton. At this time last year, the district was in the midst of defining a Strategic Plan to guide us through the next several years. One of the items in the plan is the continued enhancement of technology use in schools by students and staff. With the recent passing of the school budget, I am pleased to announce that Chromebooks have been purchased for all incoming freshman at Wachusett Regional High School. I was fortunate to assist with the handing out of the devices last week, at which time over 400 Chromebooks were passed out over two days. Students and parents expressed gratitude and support. Special thanks to our IT department, Supervisor Barry Sclar, and the other members of the team at the high school that assisted with this initiative. Middle and elementary schools participating in MCAS 2.0 also received Chromebook carts this summer. We look forward to the new learning opportunities this initiative will provide for our students and faculty. Over the past two months, all of the school buildings in our District have been cleaned and prepped for students and staff. We have a dedicated and hardworking custodial team, and I am very pleased with the work they have completed to make our buildings and grounds look great. When visiting other school districts, I am reminded of how well the educational facilities of Wachusett are maintained. Finally, I would like to share some thoughts with you regarding the recent incidents in Charlottesville, Virginia. Executive Director of the Massachusetts Association for School Superintendents Tom Scott reminds all district leaders that our schools are founded on the principle that diversity, in all forms, is always welcome. As educators, we are committed to providing opportunities for equity and inclusion that celebrate and embrace our differences. This will enable our future leaders to value all members of society to uphold our democratic ideals. Our district’s vision statement asserts: The Wachusett Regional School District will foster a vibrant educational community in which all students will realize their highest potential and become responsible and productive citizens. We are, and will forever be, committed to supporting all of our students, staff and families. I applaud your efforts to help our students thrive and prosper. Your dedication to Wachusett is appreciated by all. I wish you a successful start to the school year, and look forward to seeing you as I visit your schools in the coming weeks.